The Christmas Prince series’ popularity has baffled many – the Daily Beast called it “90 minutes of Prince Harry holiday fan fiction that feels 75 minutes too long“, and even the company that produced the films, Netflix, asked repeat viewers “who hurt you?” But that hasn’t stopped A Christmas Prince from rolling forward with two sequels, A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding and now, A Christmas Prince: Royal Baby. Turns out, there might be a reason for all the Christmas Prince love, because when you hear where A Christmas Prince was filmed, you’ll realize it’s actually part of a long holiday rom-com tradition.
The royal castle of Aldovia, seen in all three Christmas Prince films, is actually Pele Castle, located in Sinaia, Romania. Built in the 1860s by Romania’s King Carol I, the fairytale home was built in Neo-Renaissance style, and has 160 rooms, each with its own theme and design. That includes a movie theater and concert hall, as well as an enormous collection of over 4,000 weapons from all over the world in the appropriately titled Weapons Room. If the castle looks familiar, that’s because it was also used as location for other holiday royalty rom-coms, including A Princess For Christmas, A Prince For Christmas, and Royal Matchmaker.
If you’re hoping to get a taste of royalty and set your own wedding there, you’re out of luck according to Romanian Insider, representatives specifically announced the location would not be open to private wedding functions. “The Peles National Museum has never organized and will never organize weddings or other such events at the Peles castle or the Pelisor castle, as it would contradict its basic function, which is to protect the historical space and the national patrimony.
For those determined to have a Christmas Prince Christmas but lack the budget to travel to the picturesque mountains of Romania, you’re in luck two of the film’s locations are right here in the states. Christmas Prince‘s opening scenes take place at the Riviera Cafe & Sports Bar in New York City. The bad news: you won’t be able to grab a drink inside, as after 48 years in the West Village, the bar closed in 2017. The good news: nothing seems to have taken its place, so for now you can still see the same signage and building in the film. There’s also the usual New York establishing shots that have appeared in hundreds of films: The Rockefeller Tree, the main New York Public Library building, Central Park, all lovely to visit but not quite as site specific to A Christmas Prince.
The other location, Amber’s magazine office, is supposedly located in New York, but was actually filmed on Chicago’s East Wacker Drive, near the DuSable Bridge. Though the film was called out for trying to pass off a building clearly flying not just Chicago but Illinois state flags as New York, if you’re in for a Christmas penny, you’re probably buying the whole “young woman still has a rookie job at a print magazine paying to send her to a foreign country” pound. And after all, part of the Christmas Prince magic is it transports you to the best location of all – that of fantasy made real via the magic of movies.